Ukraine defense minister thanks US, UK for military aid amid threat of Russian invasion
The United States and the United Kingdom have provided the Ukrainian Army with weapons it had only dreamed of obtaining, Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine’s defense minister, said on the Ukrainian television channel ICTV on Jan. 24.
“From the very first day, I’ve been negotiating with our partners (for weapons),” he said during the Svoboda Slova (Freedom of Speech) panel-show.“
The result – you see planes arriving at Boryspil (International Airport) from London, two planes arrived from the United States, and tomorrow we’re meeting the third plane with military aid.”
Reznikov said negotiations are underway on all Ukraine’s arms needs. However, he refused to disclose details.
“To disclose details and nuances – what exactly, in what way, in what quantity and when – I cannot do in the public spotlight,” he said.
“But believe me, there are already many interesting things in that aid that we only dreamed of before.”
Ukraine is expected to receive U.S.-made Stinger shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles amid a Russian military buildup and threat of invasion.
Latvia has also decided to supply Stinger MANPADS to Ukraine.
Estonia will also send U.S.-made Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks.
The United States has recently delivered M141 Bunker Defeat Munition hand-held disposable grenade launchers to Ukraine, while a batch of NLAW (Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) anti-tank systems have arrived from the United Kingdom.
Canada is also considering sending military aid to a new, separate branch of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – the Territorial Defense Forces.
Since the end of October 2021, Russia has been massing troops close to the Ukrainian borders. Russia has since deployed more than 127,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate, provided to CNN this week by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.
The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of Russia.
At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied Ukrainian territories by military means. The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.
Russian troops have also been deployed to Belarus, as part of previously unscheduled military exercises. However, Russian equipment has been spotted along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, far from the announced zone of the exercises.
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